11:12 AM Bay Area transit officials are reporting that crowds headed to the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory parade are at least as big as the ones that showed up for the championship parade two years ago.
As of 9:30 a.m., BART had recorded 160,338 exits from its system, 13,406 more than the day of the 2010 parade, and roughly 55,000 more than an average weekday morning commute, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.
“We have very crowded platforms and stations and trains,” Trost said.
There were five- to 10-minute delays systemwide because of the crowds this morning, she said.
Trost said BART will be operating on a rush-hour commute schedule for the entire day.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. near the foot of Market Street and will end with a celebration in Civic Center Plaza.
Caltrain was also dealing with packed trains headed up the Peninsula to San Francisco this morning, spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.
Dunn said the agency ran seven extra trains during its morning service, including two express trains from San Jose to San Francisco with no stops in between.
“All trains have been very full,” she said.
Dunn said Caltrain officials will monitor the situation when people leave after the celebration, and begin running trains every 15 minutes from the San Francisco station. The trains will stop at all stations, she said.
San Francisco Municipal Railway buses were also very crowded, with some full buses bypassing those waiting at stops.
Muni spokesman Paul Rose said mid-morning, “We do have heavy ridership, but we’re not overwhelmed at this point.”
Rose said the agency anticipates that light-rail vehicles and buses will likely be more packed later today when the celebration ends and everyone leaves at once.
Several bus lines have been redirected from their normal routes on Mission Street, which closed around 9:30 a.m., and Market Street, which closed about an hour earlier, Rose said.
Golden Gate Transit ferries carried just under 13,000 people to the 2010 parade, and spokeswoman Mary Currie said the agency “is expecting we’ll at least meet that number” for today’s festivities.
“The crowd has now finally dissipated–it’s mostly stragglers now,” Currie said at about 10:30 a.m. “We’re going to take a break because we haven’t had one.”
She said there have been no problems with the droves of jubilant fans going to celebrate their team’s victory.
“The crowds have been really courteous and patient and festive,” she said. “Everyone is very, very well-behaved.”
9:17 AM: Droves of San Francisco Giants fans are making their way into the city today for a parade to celebrate the team’s second World Series title in three seasons.
Even before the sun came up, BART trains in the East Bay were already packed with orange-and-black-clad fans.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said ridership is significantly up from an average workday, but that trains are running smoothly.
All available trains are in service, Trost said. The Dublin/Pleasanton, Millbrae and Civic Center stations have been the busiest, she said.
San Francisco Municipal Railway buses were also packed, with some full buses bypassing those waiting at bus stops.
The Giants’ World Series victory parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. near the foot of Market Street and travel to City Hall, where a massive celebration will be held in Civic Center Plaza.
On a BART train heading from Fremont to San Francisco this morning, numerous fans at one point joined in a “Let’s go Giants” chant.
Of the parade-goers was Arum Kashy, 21, of Union City. Kashy took the day off from his job as a software engineer to help congratulate the team.
“It’s going to be madness today,” Kashy said.
Kashy said he thinks the 2012 team is better than the team in 2010, when the Giants also won the World Series.
“This team always had the ‘it’ factor,” Kashy said.
One dedicated fan who chose not to give his name, a San Jose native now living in Virginia, flew out to the Bay Area Monday to celebrate. He said a lot of his friends who still live in the Bay Area called in sick to work today.
“Everyone is sick, it’s an epidemic,” he said.
One of those friends is Joel Sustiguer, 32, of San Lorenzo, who said he is afflicted with “Giants fever.”
“I never had doubts about this year’s playoff run,” Sustiguer said. This year’s parade is going to be packed, and way better than 2010.”
As the parade start time nears, Trost advised riders to make sure to fill all the cars, including the lead and last cars, which are typically less crowded.
As of 8:15 a.m., all trains were on time, but Trost said people should still allow time for delays.
Ridership is already up from the 2010 parade day, she said.
Business was booming at stores and eateries near Civic Center early this morning. Lines were out the door at Sam’s Diner and a Subway sandwich shop on Market Street, as well as the Starbucks and Anderson Bread Co. in Fox Plaza at Market and 10th streets.
Crowds had already formed in Civic Center Plaza, where fans waited in a drizzle of rain to honor their team.
Giovanni Albanese, Bay City News